Monday, November 17, 2008

“Crossing Stones” Book Cover



Though the conventional wisdom in cover design is to avoid having the visual literally duplicate the title, I felt I could not avoid it for this young adult novel told in verse form. Set in rural Michigan in the year 1918, Crossing Stones, by Helen Frost, follows the intertwined lives of two pairs of young adult siblings all struggling to find their paths in life. World War I, the flu pandemic, and the women’s Suffragette movement all figure prominently in the story. The over-riding tone of the book is heartfelt and bittersweet, and this is what I tried to convey in the artwork.

After the concept was nailed down and approved, my biggest challenge was finding the right setting to make the photographs for the montage. Though, as luck would have it, I am very familiar with rural Michigan. Unfortunately, I live now in southwest Florida, which bears little resemblance. For one thing, while there are plenty of creeks here (and no palm trees in Michigan), there are virtually no creeks here with stones. In the final image, I was able to use a creek I shot near my house, but the stones were added using a tabletop still life I made for the project. The model was shot separately in a park nearby, and the rest of the landscape was added with images from my archives.

CLIENT: FARRAR, STRAUS, & GIROUX
ART DIRECTOR: JAY COLVIN

1 comment:

Helen Frost said...

Richard, you posted this the day after my mother passed on. She was born a week before my story opens, and I'm glad to know that she lived long enough to admire your beautiful and evocative cover image. Thank you.
Helen Frost